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Writing prayersHave you ever picked up a copy of the United Reformed Church’s (URC) prayer handbook and thought you could write prayers just as good as, or maybe better than, these published within it? If so, now’s your chance to put pen to paper and write a prayer or two, to three or four, for the 2020 Prayer Handbook – Prayers from the Heart.

Incoming editors, Ian Fosten and Karen Campbell, are keen to build on the work of Richard Church and Nathan Eddy, editors of the past three editions of the prayer handbook, and widen its authorship. Prayer writers from every part of the denomination – and beyond – are invited to submit prayers for the 2020 edition. 

Read more: Have you ever wanted to write for the prayer handbook?

News banner Joan ColwellThis week a group of volunteers in Warrington had their first look at Faith-filled Life – the first stream of the Stepwise programme – which they are now ready to begin.

Stepwise is a little different from previous discipleship programmes; designed for the way we live and learn now, participants begin with individual activities online as they prepare for later group discussion. And, after meeting with their local group for shared activities, they can pursue in greater depth the topics that particularly interest them through further online study, including video and audio materials.

Read more: Stepwise is stepping out …

Nicola Furley Smith Southern synod moderator with Tom Brake MPA new initiative created by the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) launched on Friday (5 October) in England and Wales to encourage church congregations to build a relationship with their local MP.

‘Meet Your MP’ aims to help Christians to engage with the representatives who make the political decisions that affect the country and everyday lives, and to enable MPs to get to know their local churches better too.

‘Like it or not, politics matters. In an age where our political discourse is increasingly fractured, Meet Your MP will help to build understanding and promote positive relationships between decision-makers and church communities,’ explained Simeon Mitchell, secretary for Church and Society for the United Reformed Church, and member of the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), which brings together the Baptist Union, Methodist Church, URC and Church of Scotland to work on issues of justice, peace and political engagement.

Read more: Churches launch new initiative to ‘Meet Your MP’

woman with box‘Practising this habit is particularly important because it can literally make the world of difference,’ says Andrew Roberts, author of Holy Habits, as he introduces the United Reformed Church’s film, ‘The Holy Habit of Sharing’.

This film is the third in a short series that explores each theme featured in Mr Roberts’ book.

Read more: ‘Sharing resources can make world of difference’ says Holy Habits author in new film

allef vinicius 170958 unsplashAs communities across the United Reformed Church celebrate Harvest this autumn, Christians are being encouraged to include rural communities in their prayers.

From a winter remembered for ‘The beast from the east’ to a prolonged drought over the summer, the extreme weather has brought hardship to farmers.

The Revd Elizabeth Clarke, United Reformed Church and Methodist Rural Officer for Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre, has collated ideas for harvest services, and written prayers to help churches focus on the realities of food production this Harvest season.

Read more: Pray for the plight of farmers this harvest